Special weekend in town

SC Teear (left) and PC Lawrence on patrol
SC Teear (left) and PC Lawrence on patrol
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Special Constables in Sussex took place in a Specials Awareness Weekend.

Throughout the weekend, events were run by teams of Special Constables who worked to give the public a real insight into this extraordinary role.

More than 300 people spend their time volunteering as Special Constables in Sussex.

Special Constables have the same powers as regular officers but they volunteer for a minimum of 16 hours a month for the benefit of the wider community.

Working alongside first line response teams, neighbourhood policing teams and road policing units every single Special Constable in Sussex works directly with the public and so far this year they have volunteered for a total of 60,000 hours.

For Alan Fiest, a Special Constable who has served in this role for six-and-a-half years, the weekend was another opportunity to get out and talking with the community.

Alan said, “I started volunteering as a Special in 2007 when I was working in Woolworths. I didn’t know anything about the role until my Nan brought home the application form and I’ve never looked back.

“I love the variety and never knowing what is going to happen. I’ve become much more confident as a result of my training but the main thing for me is about helping out my community – I really do feel that I am making a difference.”

Assistant Chief Constable, Robin Merrett, said, “We are extremely proud of our Special Constables who work alongside our policing teams. The weekend was a chance to demonstrate the diversity of the work they undertake and for the public to talk directly with the people doing this role.

“Together, these volunteers help us to provide the best levels of public service to all our communities, they are an integral part of our policing family and the weekend is an opportunity for us to say thank you for their outstanding contribution.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said, “Specials Awareness Weekend is a great opportunity for the public to see the important and varied roles that Special Constables undertake across Sussex. It was a very exciting two days with Specials from every division demonstrating how much they are involved in policing Sussex.

“Sussex Police is always open for Specials recruitment and I would urge anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of volunteering and help keep their community safe to apply.”

For more information on becoming a Special Constable vist www.sussexspecials.com